Two Southampton Town bay constables rescued a runaway dog stranded on the half-frozen Squires Pond in Hampton Bays on Sunday morning.
Mark Ruocco and Danielle McManus said they ventured out into the near-freezing cold water shortly before 10 a.m. after receiving a call from a concerned neighbor who spotted the dog from a distance.
Chopping through the ice at times and wearing waders, the two constables slowly made their way out to the dog, which was between 75 and 100 feet from shore and struggling to get out of a hole that had broken in the ice. They estimated that the water was about 2 feet deep, though a thick layer of mud also hindered their rescue efforts.
It took them about 20 minutes to reach the canine, a 14-and-a-half-year-old German shorthaired pointer named Loue, Mr. Ruocco recalled, and another 20 minutes to get her to shore.
“It was 30 pounds, soaking wet and shaking,” he said.
“This happens frequently,” Mr. Ruocco continued. “Not too often, but a lot of times dogs go out and get stuck. This time of the year it happens because the ice is thick, but it’s soft because the temperature has been going up and down. This is the worst time for people, or animals, to be going on the ice.”
When the constables reached Loue she was partially submerged in the water—which Mr. Ruocco estimated was only “in the high 30s” in terms of temperature—and clambering to get back onto the ice. Ms. McManus said they used a blanket as a makeshift sling to carry the dog back to shore.
Loue’s owner, Burt Barr, said he took the dog with him when he went to his garage to work on his BMW at around 7 a.m. Sunday. “I hadn’t even had coffee or anything,” Mr. Barr recalled, adding that he looked away for a minute or two and when he turned around, Loue had disappeared.
Mr. Barr, a New York City video artist who owns a home on Dewey Lane in Hampton Bays that’s located about a mile from Squires Pond, said Loue had never done anything like this before, and he believes she wandered off accidentally and got lost because of her poor eyesight and vision. He added that he took her to an emergency veterinarian clinic in Riverhead, and she was released later the same day.
Despite being a little shaken up, Loue has recovered from the incident and is her normal, sleepy self, Mr. Barr said. He added that he was even able to take her for a walk on Tuesday morning in Manhattan.